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Continuing to Hunger for God, Despite Being Ex-communicated

Zhenya (wearing the red and blue jacket) was teaching a few men Christian theology in one of the rehabilitation centers.

“For a while now, I have been engaged in Christian counseling and teaching theological courses on Ron Putnam’s books, as well as, other theological topics. We have studied topics that are helpful to these patients’ rehabilitation. Topics include the spiritual disciplines of prayer, confession, fasting, simplicity, solitude and silence, love, grace, worship, studying God’s Word, the keys to freedom, the importance of salvation in Christ, one’s assurance of salvation, the process of sanctification, and knowing about the trinity.

These lessons are important because many of these men have been excommunicated from church. But despite their removal from church, God is not absent in pursuing them. Many of these patients have a sincere spiritual hunger inside of them to know the Lord, grow, and develop into greater Christ-likeness. My counseling is allowing me to develop relationships with the men and help them overcome their current situation. I was encouraged to see 16 people give their lives to Christ at the Liberty Rehabilitation Center in the town of Poktilovka.

The atmosphere in the classroom is welcoming and conducive to understanding God’s Word and sharing their thoughts and personal testimonies. One deep conversation occurred between a group of men and I after we studied the topic of “confession,” since confessing one’s sins is vitally important to becoming free from one’s guilty conscience. They learned with God’s help, they are able to eliminate the darkness and oppression of their lives and find freedom that comes through Christ and confessing one’s sins. This was a defining moment for these men.

I would also like your readers to know that I am also serving at a drug rehabilitation hospital. I come here regularly to evangelize people and offer them the opportunity to go into one of our Christian centers. It is amazing the various types of people who are in this hospital. The patients include highly educated individuals, big business men, army officers, entrepreneurs, and many homeless people. Some people are talkative and others are quiet, reserved, and don’t want to engage in conversation.

During one of my visits, I met a 30 year old man named Maxim. He had been imprisoned twice for drug abuse. Unfortunately, his addiction caused him to lose his hand, and perhaps a relationship with his wife and child. I was able to share my testimony and the Good News of Jesus Christ. I will visit him again and pray that he will accept the Lord. Another person I met is named Sasha, when I spoke to him about the Lord, he broke down into tears. There are many opportunities to witness in this hospital, but make no mistake, there are also very hardened people too. Please thank everyone for helping me witness to these people for Christ.”

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